Over the weekend, the suspected killer of Kenneth Akena who doubles as the Executive Director of Quantum Express Logistics, Mathew Kanyamunyu went and apologized to the cultural leaders of the deceased Non-government organisations (NGO) worker in Gulu.
In the traditional ritual Mato Oput practiced in Acholi, the culprit apologizes for the crime he committed against an individual or family. The ritual allows the two families to reunite, dine and reconcile.
In Acholi, one can only undergo this kind of cleansing after accepting the crime committed, Could it be that Kanyamunyu accepted that he killed Akena. He was captured kneeling before cultural leaders for over an hour.
Mathew Kanyamunyu, his brother Joseph Kanyamunyu and girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari are accused of murdering Kenneth Akena, a child rights activist and the matter is in high court.
Mato Oput is the end result of ‘Culu kwo’ compensating the bereaved family after some time. Usually the spirit of the dead will ask for it after inflicting spiritual revenge to the killer’s family.
According to cultural analysts in Acholi region, he should undergo the truth telling to let the world know what exactly happened on that day, accept compensation or face the full wrath of ‘cen pigwang’ in Acholi or full prosecution.
Late Akena comes from the Payira clan also headed by Paramount Rwot Achana. There has been protracted dialogue between the two families of Kanyamunyu and the Akena. According to the source, chief Achana did not attend the protracted meeting.
This website has also learnt that Kanyamunyu was ordered to pay 10 herd of cattle, an unrevealed amount of money and others.
This is where the justice system in Uganda may need to learn from Mato Oput which is practiced widely among Acholi. It leaves both parties united. Not bitter and divided by prosecution which is mostly corruptible given the gravity of deaths in societies.
The three are accused of shooting Akena on November 12, 2016 around Lugogo bypass. Prosecution alleges that on November 12, 2017 while at Game Stores, Kanyamunyu, in company of his girlfriend, allegedly shot Akena and drove him to Norvik hospital, where he died.
His brother Joseph Kanyamunyu is implicated on the condition that the telecom printouts indicated that he was contacted immediately after the incident, which puts him in position to be having some knowledge on the incident.
The prime suspects are currently on bail granted by Nakawa Grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi on March 28, 2017. Mathew Kanyamunyu was bailed on October 4, 2017.